The ALGIZ rune. Ancient symbol of power. The primal energy of the forest runs through this rune. Our Norse Germanic ancestors knew the sacred power running through the Elder Futhark. That is why they left their markings on stone – on gravesites, burial mounds, and temple markers. But the runes aren’t just reminders of the past. They are messages…signs of the present and promises for the future. In this article, we will meet the Algiz rune and define just a few of its formidable meanings. We’ll also learn how to tape into its primitive energy and use it in our daily and magical practices. Let me take you on a journey through the Elder Futhark.
To define runes, the dictionary says a rune is a “letter of an ancient Germanic alphabet” or a a “mark or letter of mysterious, magical significance.” I would have to agree with both definitions, but add something to it – runes are the forgotten language of the SOUL. A language that was once nearly lost that we are starting to remember.
There are different types of runic systems within the Norse/Germanic domain. The runic system most rune masters are familiar with is called the Elder Futhark. It is the system used by Vikings and many Norse peoples. The Elder Futhark consists of 24 runes and sometimes an extra blank rune called Wyrd. Each rune we’ve correlated to our letters of the alphabet, and each rune has its own sacred tangible and spiritual significance. Each rune ALSO has a connection to an ancient deity. Some of which we’ve lost over time.
Runes were used to document or record special information, i.e. the name and bloodline of an important person at his or her burial mound/place. They were used to convey and communicate. But, more importantly, the runes held and still hold their own powerful vibrations. Each different from the next. And, as you learn and align with the runes, your own spirit will fuse with each symbol in its own unique way. Meaning, how I feel and attune to the Algiz rune might be a completely different stream of thought and experience than how you attune to it. So, keep an open mind and heart.
Equivalent to the letter Z in the alphabet, Algiz (pronounced ULL-GYIZ) is the end yet also the beginning. It looks like an upper case Y with a line ascending up and through the middle…or a cross with upwards-bent arms. The first rune I ever worked with was the Algiz rune. It calls to many…with a strength all its own. I believe it calls to students of the runes first, because it is a protective rune. In fact, it’s one of the MOST protective runes in the Elder Futhark, IMO. Just look at the way the Algiz rune is shaped – standing up straight with its antlers pointed to the sky. Tall, proud, and fierce. Just like the Elk….which brings us to the physical meanings behind this rune…
Most will tell you the Algiz rune represents the elk and its antlers. I’d have to say I can see the image of an elk’s antlers easily by looking at this powerful symbol. In old times, the Norse people considered the elk a sacred being, but it was also frequently hunted as a food source for the people. When elk meat was consumed, it brought the individual strength and survival. The Algiz rune, when its energy is harnessed properly, also brings its bearer the strength of the elk. And grants the bearer the privilege of surviving whatever trials and tribulations he or she might endure. You WILL come out of this long, cold Winter triumphant, secure, and vibrant.
But another version of the Algiz rune’s physical meaning links it to “eel grass” or what author Cassandra Eason claims is actually nettle. According to the Anglo-Saxon rune poem, the rune is mentioned as being an eel grass that wounds any man who grabs it. Apparently, eel grass is a type of seaweed or plant that grows in wet conditions, that when stepped on may catch or “sting” you.
The moment I first aligned with the Algiz rune was one of the most powerful moments of my life. This is when the runes called to me and brought me to the path of initiation. I was taking a walk, soaking in the beautiful energy all around me, when I noticed a symbol on a tree. It wasn’t intentionally put there (by human hands), but something made the mark. I took a picture of it and went home to research. It was the Algiz rune. After that, I saw this rune everywhere – on TV, in the clouds, in my dreams, everywhere. I knew I was meant to study the runes. And that this particular rune was a symbol of initiation and protection on the path.
Your relationship and journey on the path of the Elder Futhark will take you in many unexpected places. Sometimes the path will be rough, and you’ll undergo painful changes. And sometimes the path will be beautiful, peaceful, and wrought with growth. Wherever the Algiz rune takes you, be grateful you have been called. Here are some ways I use this rune in my daily life and in sacred ritual and holiday feasts.
The best way to use the runes, to understand and get to know them, is to participate with their energy on a daily basis. Here are a few ideas to try:
Every time I cleanse and refresh my wards at my house, I draw the Algiz rune on my doors and windows using a bit of oil. You can also do this with washable crayon, pencil, etc. I promise you this rune will seal your entryways and protect you from harm. Every night when I close my blinds and lock my doors, I draw the rune in the air at each entryway for extra protection.
Roll-on essential oils are available through many online retailers including at Mountain Rose Herbs (my favorite herbal supplier). You can easily use one of these to draw the Algiz rune on your body daily to protect yourself while out and about. I prefer Frankincense, but there are SO many options!
If you’re like me and you travel quite a bit, you might find yourself praying over your Uber ride, airplane, etc. While praying, I like to imagine the Algiz rune blessing each and every wall, wing, roof, and floor of the vehicle I’m traveling in. I will even repeat the Algiz rune name over and over until I feel a shield has been constructed around that vessel. So far, it’s worked for me!
And, last but not least, consider integrating the runes into your daily meals and beverages. The easiest way to do this is to draw the rune using condiments, spices, or simply in the air above your meal or drink. This blesses everything you consume AND adds a layer of protection and divinity to it. This is particularly potent when done first thing in the morning, over your daily cup of coffee or tea.
Every day I take a shower and close my eyes and envision the Algiz rune standing right next to me. I can feel its energy radiating and pouring into my body, similar to how the water pours over my body. When I perform this simple daily ritual, I also ask the gods to bless my day, to protect and guide me.
Another way to align with the Algiz rune is by listening to the song Algiz by Wardruna. If you’ve never listened to their music, stop what you’re doing. And go look them up! The Algiz song is powerful, beautiful, and will put you in the headspace of this sacred symbol.
We don’t always have the time to engage in a full-blown ritual on a daily basis. But we do have time on the holidays and sabbats and special days to cast spells, invoke the gods, and celebrate traditions. A great way to call on sacred space is to bless your space with the Algiz rune. Here’s a few ways to do that.
If you’re a big candle magic person, consider carving or painting the Algiz rune into your candles to amplify your intentions. This rune is best in spells and workings for initiations, to boost courage and strength, to invoke the gods, and to shield and ward for protection.
I love making large meals for sabbats and feasts! One of the easiest ways to include the runes in your sabbats is to incorporate them into the decor. If you make a centerpiece for your sabbat feasting table, add runes to it. I’ve also had wooden rune slices made and set them at each place setting as a party favor. Algiz works perfectly for ANY sabbat or feast as it blesses the bearer with prosperity and protection.
Obviously if you work with the runes, you know they are useful in divining messages from the gods and ancestors. Algiz is your connecting rune – it literally connects the energy from the gods to us here on earth. If you meditate on the symbol, you’ll notice the similarities between Algiz and the Tree of Life (aka Yggdrasil). I also liken this rune to the Germanic symbol the Irminsul. Before a rune reading, set your Algiz rune out on your table/surface and tune into its energy. It will be your gateway to the rest of the Elder futhark.
I’d like to put a lot of buzz words here but that would be too …September 15, 2023